Mr Putin goes to Pyongyang

20 Jun

A year or two before Russia’s SMO began, I found myself at a social event chatting with a forty-something in the publishing world. She’d flourished in that world but now wanted a year out to travel. Topping her bucket-list of destinations, she told me, was Korea.

I mean South Korea – obvs!

Though a fan of Korean movies, at their best beautifully plotted and shot with a sumptuous saturation to my liking, I’ve never been north or south of that infamous 38th parallel. But I’ll tell you this for nothing: North Korea has long been on my  bucket list – up there with Xinjiang and Syria. A country that had 85% of its buildings destroyed by peace-loving America’s bombs, and in the decades since has been demonised so successfully – as that “obvs”  bears out – by the West’s systemically corrupt media and debased political systems, well, such a country merits a steel city visit.

One of many things I file these days as funny if we’re in a good mood  is the way everyone says a visit to NK will discover nothing of worth. You’re closely guarded 24/7, they say, and hear only what its grim rulers want you to hear. And they know this how? Through reading and hearing it from corporate media incapable, for reasons I’ve gone into many times, of fairly representing a state as defiant of the West as this.

Ah but don’t forget that for all its flaws the West is democratic while North Korea is run as a family business. Kim Jong Un is the son of the previous head of state, Kim Jong Il, who was grandson of state founder Kimi Il Sung.

No, I won’t forget that. Nor be unduly swayed by it given a fact increasingly apparent from the West’s forever wars; viz, that any say its  peoples might have is almost entirely illusory. As the US of A moves towards a ‘choice’ between the billionaire-backed senile warmonger, and the billionaire-backed tangerine narcissist – and Britain towards one between TweedleTory and TweedleToryLite – there’s a kind of honesty, wouldn’t you say, in having all your leaders bear the same family name?

There’s much more to say but I’ll leave it there. While I’ve instructed my people to liaise with Kim’s people on dates for my own arrival, one of even greater import took place yesterday, June 19. I refer to Vladimir Putin’s visit, his first since 2000.

Here to pick over the significance is Alexander Mercouris. The man rarely does short and this, at 1:23:27, is no exception. Nevertheless I found it fascinating on several counts:

  • Its canter through the history of North Korea’s relations with first the Soviet Union then the Russian Federation, including the unsurprising freeze of the Yeltsin years.
  • Ditto that of North Korea’s relations with the Peoples’ Republic of China.
  • Points of similarity and contrast of Russia’s relations with North Korea, and those with other countries in the US firing line. These include Cuba. Warships despatched to Havana these past few days are not Cold War relics but the nuclear powered submarine, Kazan, and state of the art frigate – apparently it’s more like a destroyer – Admiral Gorshkov. (Goose, gander, sauce?) And they include Iran. Only superficially different, since current US rapprochement with Hanoi is  only superficial, are the intricacies past and present of Soviet and post Soviet Russia’s relations with Vietnam.
  • Far from being irked by Russia’s closer ties with Hanoi (and it would be consistent with Western disinformation to hugely overstate territorial disputes in the South China Sea) and for that matter with Pyongyang, China approves. On the why of that, Alexander not only sifts levels of nuance you won’t get from mainstream media. More importantly, he goes into what they all stack up to.

And what they all stack up to is the dawn of a return to the principles of Westphalia, flouted by the West in its colonial plunder of the Global South, then in post WW2 imperialism and finally, post 1990, in the fast unravelling unipolarity of US hegemony. Like a benign ghost stalking the eighty-three minutes of his talk is the spirit of Westphalia and the sovereignty of nations – its corollary of international anarchy held in check not by a self-serving “rules based order” but by old fashioned, nitty-gritty understandings of the Balance of Power.

I almost forgot. One product of Mr Putin’s visit is unique, outside the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.  Russia does not have it with Iran, Cuba or Vietnam. She doesn’t even have it – not yet – with China. What Mr Putin and Mr Kim, leaders of nuclear armed states targeted by a US led West whose desperation now borders on panic, have signed is a de facto military treaty.

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6 Replies to “Mr Putin goes to Pyongyang

  1. One of the funniest videos I’ve ever seen was of the recent UK coronation, with the BBC voiceover to a North Korean occasion replacing the actual coronation one – “and the unpopular regimes hereditary leader enters the room . . . surrounded by his cronies . . . an army march past emphasises the militarism of the regime” etc. etc. Unfortunately I can’t find it now to add a link, but it displayed the BBC’s bias so sarcastically well.

  2. Very much looking forward to pay a visit to this hardcore resistance hub to global tyranny whenever the universe sends the green light to resuming my travels.

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